Photo (cc) by Raelene G
Expectant mothers are warned to avoid smoking and drinking alcohol while pregnant. But should they receive the same warning about their cellphone or iPad?
The BabySafe Project, a national public awareness campaign coordinated by Grassroots Environmental Education, was recently launched to urge pregnant women to take steps to reduce their baby’s exposure to wireless radiation from cellphones and other devices.
According to their press release, research has linked children’s exposure to wireless radiation in the womb to neurological and behavioral problems, including ADHD-like symptoms.
It doesn’t appear that studies have actually been conducted on human subjects, as there are obvious ethical issues at stake. But CBS News said some animal studies have shown a link between cellphone wireless radiation and neurological and behavioral issues in baby mice and rats. “It’s not enough evidence to prove cause and effect in humans, and that kind of study can’t be done,” CBS said.
The BabySafe Project maintains that exposing a child to wireless radiation is not a risk worth taking. The press release said:
“Pregnant women deserve to know that wireless radiation can have an impact on the developing brain,” says Dr. Maya Shetreat-Klein, a pediatric neurologist practicing in New York. “We’re seeing alarming increases in the number of children diagnosed with neurological disorders over the past decade, and anything we can do that might help reduce that rate should be taken very seriously.”
The BabySafe campaign urges women to take the following precautions:
- Don’t hold or carry a cellphone (or other wireless device) against your body.
- Use your cellphone on speaker or with a headset.
- Avoid prolonged exposure to Wi-Fi routers and turn off your router when not in use.
According to the press release:
“There’s essentially no downside to being cautious and protecting your baby,” says Dr. Hugh Taylor, chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at Yale University School of Medicine, who recently authored a study showing significant behavioral changes in the offspring of mice exposed to cellphone radiation during pregnancy. “We have demonstrated clear cause and effect relationships in mice, and we already have studies showing that women who use cellphones have children with more behavioral problems. I think together that’s very powerful evidence.”
For a better understanding of your personal exposure, click here to take a wireless exposure quiz.
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